Thursday, February 20, 2014

Judith Loske

How did you become an artist?
All my life I loved painting and drawing. In  elementary school most of the time I sat at the table and drew houses, trees and animals. Every kid had their own drawer and my mother often came to empty mine because I painted so many pictures. In my free time I continued to paint and at some point I knew I wanted to become an artist or a writer. Now I am both. 
Did you go to art school?
Yes, I went to Ruhrakademie. This is an private academy in Germany. They offer studies in graphic design, film, photography, illustration, animation and art. In the first two years you study together with fellow students of other faculties and then, the courses are specialized but you can also visit other courses that interests you. I studied illustration for 4 years. Sadakos Kraniche“ a picture book about a girl that got leukemia was my diploma work.
Was there anyone that influenced you in becoming an artist?
Looking at artwork in books, in museums, on cd covers or  poster artwork confirmed my wish to be an illustrator. But there was no special person.
Is there one or more artists whose work is an influence?
There are so many influences. I loved picture books as a small child (The Hungry Caterpillar,    Petersson and Findus, Willi Wiberg books). In art school I get in touch with Hokusai, Amedeo Modigliani, Egon Schiele, Gustav Klimt and Horst Janssen just to name a few. I don't know how they influenced me but I feel they did. My final choice was to become a children's book illustrator probably because of the work of Wolf Erlbruch (Duck, Death And The Tulip) a well known German illustrator.
What inspires you?
Often I don't know what really inspired me. Suddenly an idea appears in my mind and I don't know where it came from. But sometimes I investigate a special topic and something fascinates me like the story of Sadako Sasaki or old family photographic portraits. I liked the idea of showing a family and the viewer can interpret the relationship between the members. I also look to nature, books, music, flea markets, walks, my cat, and conversations with people for inspiration. You never know where you will find an idea. The most important thing is being curious.
Would you like to share your work process?
It begins with a sketch or doodle in my Moleskine book (I love the cream paper). Later I scan it and  increase the format. I print out the sketch and create a more detailed drawing. Then everything is transfered to watercolour paper (grain satiné from Lana). I finish the work with watercolours, pencils and collage elements (made with acrylics, wax crayons, hand carved stamps and printed paper). Then I scan it again and add some structures and background colours on the computer.  I sometimes correct some details or tonal values.
Are there links where more of your art can be seen?
-My website (
- My English portfolio on Behance (,
What types of markets do you create for?
Mainly I work for the picture book and children's book market. But I have done illustrations for porcelain manufacturers, magazines, greeting cards, blogs and textbooks, too.
Do you do other things regarding art like teaching?
I do readings for schools and kindergarten.
Do you pursue other creative interests like writing or music?
I like to sew soft toys and sometimes I crochet flowers and food. And I like to take photographs (mostly of my cat).
Where can your art be seen? Is it on products, books ect...?
I did a cup series of kissing animals for Könitz Porzellan.
My published picture books are:
- Sadakos Kraniche, minedition 2011
also available in English, French and Dutch
- Der Koffer, die Katze und die Tuba, minedition 2012
also available in English and French
- Mein Schatz bist du!, Text: Lucy Scharenberg, Thienemann 2013
- Let's Read Japanese Vol.1, various illustrators, Oxford Brookes University 2013
- Let's Read Japanese Vol.2, various illustrators, Oxford Brookes University 2013
- Das rote Blatt, Hinstorff 2014
- Klassiker für Kinder - Alice im Wunderland, cbj 2014 (will be published in summer 2014)
What do you love best about what you do?
I love the possibility to create my own worlds and characters telling a story for children and adults. Of course it is wonderful to share these worlds in a book. I think the feeling of seeing an appealing cover, then opening the book and falling in love with the story is unique. Every child has its favourite book and maybe it is one of mine.




Monday, February 10, 2014

Carol Eldridge

I think I was born an artist! For as long as I can remember I have always loved to draw and paint. Art was always the activity I loved the best.

I was fortunate to live in a town where art was not only appreciated but encouraged. I took art classes at the local Marblehead Arts Association. Our high school offered an art major course for senior students. So, I majored in Art in High School and then in College. I also had a neighbor who was a book illustrator. I loved going to her studio to watch her work. I think that had a lasting influence on me.

DID YOU GO TO ART SCHOOL?Yes, I went to the Massachusetts College of Art in Boston, the only publicly funded art school in the country and one of the oldest to grant an artistic degree. I graduated with a BFA degree with a dual major in Illustration and Printmaking.

I would have to say my parents were my biggest influence. They always encouraged my love of art. They took me to museums to see famous art works all over New England. They paid for my private lessons, camp, art classes and all my art supplies. My Dad created a studio space for me in our basement so I could paint and have a place to practice my creative work all through school. That kind of endless enthusiasm and support goes a long way to encourage a young person to pursue their dream!

Life inspires me! Just look around you….amazing things are everywhere! I am fortunate to live by the ocean and I like to walk along the beach collecting shells and rocks. I am seduced by color…bright and happy colors especially.  I love travelling to new places and learning about different cultures. I keep a sketch book with me, especially when I travel, so I have literally filled dozens of books with ideas and drawings of what I see that interests me as I journey through life. I read all the shelter magazines, I am an avid shopper, I study the fashion trends, I am aware of Pop Culture…I keep my eyes open for new ideas where ever I go.

 For me, it all begins with the drawing. That is the basis for everything I do. I gather reference material from places I have visited or concepts I have come up with.  I then sketch up an image I am thinking about, working out the drawing until I feel it’s where I want it to be. Then I transfer that image to a bristol board paper and begin the painting process. The finished painting is later scanned at a high resolution into the computer and sometimes manipulated in PS depending on my plans. I paint with gouache since it reproduces so well and is so forgiving to work with.

My specialty, and what I am perhaps best known for, is product development and the ability to create unique concepts for manufacturers. Drawing is key. Being able to think 3-dimensonally is another key. Also being able to think outside the box! To create something new, something that has function but is also fun and different from what is already out there has given me great longevity in this business. I think a couple of good examples of this are my “Count Down to Halloween” candy corn- shaped calendar, a unique way for kids to count down to a favorite holiday with little drawers that hold treats. The second example are my “Bone Heads” ….hand made porcelain beads with glass crystal eyes and wire hangers to add to back packs or make into jewelry or decorate  for Halloween…all displayed in a bone-shaped porcelain dish with tattoos around the edges. Both these innovative product concepts are my creations….distinctive, with a singular purpose to catch your attention.

 I basically create art and product design for any market that will license my work. I am always seeking new markets and design for everything from fabric and buttons, to home décor, kitchen textiles, calendars, flags, giftware and even have a line of resort wear featuring my designs. I have licensed my work on dinnerware and ribbons, illustrated children’s workbooks, a children’s wallpaper book, designed greeting cards, tee shirts, mugs, all manner of giftware, rugs, fabrics, wall art, Christmas and Halloween ornaments and décor and so much more. In 25 years licensing my artwork, there aren’t many products that my designs haven’t appeared on.

I was an art teacher for grades K-12 for over 10 years as I was building my art licensing business. I love working with kids. I also taught silk screening in my studio for years. Following years of exhibiting at Surtex and presenting seminars on art licensing for over 15 years at that show, I continued by offering art licensing consulting to help new artists understand the business. Now I am more apt to be found doing crafts and art lessons with my grandchildren or traveling to some fun place with them. Children are just intuitively creative!

 I love to decorate and have created a warm and charming home for my family. When my girls where younger I used to sew and make their clothes. I am an avid gardener and have designed a magnificent perennial garden. I love fashion and shopping and anything I can do with my hands. The Captain and I do a great deal of traveling, pursuing my love of the arts and visiting all the major museums of the world. I keep a journal for each trip and have several ideas for books that I may pursue at some time.

I love the freedom to create anytime I want and the flexibility that being your own boss allows. I love that I can work at home after years of renting a studio downtown. I love that I can be walking along the beach and be inspired by something I come across, then go home to my studio and take that idea to another level. I love the challenge of being able to create something special and then finding a manufacturing partner to bring that concept to market. When art licensing all works in a synergistic way, designs you create can find homes on multiple products creating multiple income streams. I think that to earn money for something you love to do, is just the frosting on the proverbial cake!